If you are vegan and have been feeling run down, you may have anemia. This is a common condition among vegans, caused by a lack of iron in the diet. Iron is an important mineral that helps your body produce red blood cells and without enough, you can start to feel fatigued and weak. It seems that vegans and iron deficiency seem to go hand-in-hand – but don’t worry. In this article, we will discuss how iron can help vegans with anemia, and how to get more iron into your diet as a vegan!
What is iron deficiency anemia
A vegan diet can sometimes be low in iron, which is an essential nutrient in red blood cells. It helps to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When there is not enough iron in the diet, iron deficiency anemia can develop. Anemia can cause fatigue, weakness, and pale skin. It can also lead to other health problems.
The best way to prevent iron deficiency anemia is to consume a diet that includes plenty of iron-rich foods, such as lean red meat, dark leafy greens, and beans. Supplements are sometimes helpful. If you think you might have anemia, it is important to see a doctor for a blood test.
Vegan iron sources to consider
Iron is essential for carrying oxygen in the blood and preventing fatigue. There are actually plenty of vegan-friendly foods that are rich in iron. For example, beans and lentils are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help to improve gut health and prevent constipation. Quinoa is another excellent vegan iron source, as it contains all nine essential amino acids. Leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard have nutrients like iron, magnesium, and potassium. By including these foods in your diet, you can help to ensure that you’re getting enough iron on a vegan diet.
Vegan iron supplements to try
While there are many vegan-friendly foods that contain iron, some people may still need to take supplements to prevent deficiency. This is especially true for those who have ailments that affect iron absorption or who consume a lot of foods that inhibit iron absorption (like coffee and tea). Here are just a few vegan iron supplements to try:
Floradix Liquid Iron: This supplement is gentle on the stomach and doesn’t cause constipation like some other iron supplements can. It’s also easy to absorb and doesn’t cause the side effects that iron sulfate can – it’s also great for expectant mothers.
Vegan Iron Capsules: This supplement is made from organic ingredients and is easy to absorb. It’s also free from common allergens, making it a good choice for those with sensitivities.
Garden of Life Iron Complex: This supplement is made from whole food ingredients and contains vitamins C and B12, which can help to improve iron absorption.
Vegums Iron vegan gummies: Vegums iron vegan gummies are a delicious way to get your daily dose of iron. Made with natural ingredients, they are free of artificial colors and flavors.
Each gummy is packed with nutrients that are essential for good health, including iron, vitamin C, and folic acid. They are also 100% gluten-free.
Solgar vegan iron tablets: Solgar Vegan Iron Tablets are a great way to supplement your diet and make sure that you are getting the recommended daily amount of iron. Each tablet contains 20 mg of iron, as well as vitamin C for absorption. They are easy to take and do not cause constipation or stomach upset like some iron supplements can.
Foods that are high in iron for vegans
While meat is a traditional source of iron, there are plenty vegan foods high in iron that can help you to meet your daily needs.
One excellent source of iron is legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans. Chickpeas, for example, contain about three milligrams of iron per cup, while lentils have about six milligrams of iron per cup. Beans are also good sources of iron, with black beans containing about four milligrams of iron per cup and kidney beans containing about five milligrams of iron per cup.
Dark leafy greens
Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are also high in iron. Two cups of cooked spinach contains about six milligrams of iron, while one cup of cooked kale has about three milligrams of iron. Swiss chard is another excellent option, providing about four milligrams of iron per cup.
Whole grains, nuts, and seeds
Other good vegan sources of iron include whole grains, nuts, and seeds. For example, quinoa and pumpkin seeds are both high in iron and make excellent additions to a healthy diet. Quinoa contains about two milligrams of iron per cup, while pumpkin seeds have about seven milligrams of iron per ounce.
By incorporating these foods into your meals, you can easily boost your iron intake on a vegan diet.
High iron vegan recipes
Looking for some good ways to get these foods into your diet? The recipes below are a great way to get started and stock up on vegan iron sources:
Quinoa and black bean chilli – This recipe is packed with iron-rich ingredients, including quinoa, black beans, and dark leafy greens.
Black bean soup – This hearty soup is made with black beans, kale, and quinoa, making it a great option for a winter meal.
Spinach, chickpea and potato curry – This curry is a delicious way to get your daily dose of iron. It’s made with spinach, chickpeas, and potatoes, which are all excellent sources of iron.
Kale and quinoa salad – This salad is a great option for a light lunch or dinner. It’s made with kale, quinoa, and roasted pumpkin seeds, all of which are high in iron.
How to take iron supplements if you’re a vegan
Iron is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many bodily functions. It helps to transport oxygen in the blood, supports a healthy immune system, and helps the body to produce energy. However, it is important to take iron supplements correctly in order to avoid side effects and maximize absorption. The best time to take iron supplements is with a meal or snacks that contain vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron more effectively. In addition, it is important to stay hydrated when taking iron supplements and to avoid taking them at the same time as calcium supplements or antacids, as this can reduce absorption.
While most people associate Vitamin C with citrus fruits, there are actually a wide variety of foods that are rich in this important nutrient. For example, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries are all excellent sources of Vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for a healthy immune system, and it also plays a role in the production of collagen.
As a result, getting enough Vitamin C can help to improve the health of your skin, hair, and nails. In addition to eating foods that are rich in Vitamin C, you can also take supplements or use topical products that contain this nutrient. By including Vitamin C in your diet or skincare routine, you can enjoy a range of potential benefits.
How much iron do you need per day?
The amount of iron you need each day depends on your age, gender, and health. For most people, the recommended daily intake is between 10 and 18 milligrams. Men and postmenopausal women generally need less iron than premenopausal women and teenage girls. People with certain medical conditions, such as anemia or cancer, may require more iron than the general population. The best way to get the iron you need is through a healthy diet that includes iron-rich foods. Iron from supplements is also another great option, but it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure they’re safe for you.
Getting the right amount of iron
Getting the right amount of iron can be a challenge for vegans, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of this essential nutrient by including iron-rich foods in your diet and taking supplements if necessary. By doing this, you can ensure that you’re getting the iron you need to support your health correctly. It’s also helpful for vegans with anemia.
Do you have some preferred sources of iron that you like to include in your diet? Share them with us in the comments below!